Resources for Decatur County Research

Queries & Mailing List


Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1886

Tennessee Records Repository

TNGenWeb Project

USGenWeb Project

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9 Replies to “Resources for Decatur County Research”

  1. Mary H. Murphy Austin (1830-1889) was the daughter of Daniel H. Murphy and Martha Kissah Tye. Her grandfather was Revolutionary War Patriot Daniel Murphy. I need a legal document or a copy of an old family Bible to prove that Mary was their daughter. I am trying to prove direct lineage for Daughters of the American Revolution research.

    In the 1850 census, Mary is married to Pleasant Woodward Austin (son of Charles and Phoebe Ellen Woodward Austin) and living next door to her parents and siblings. Since she is listed as Austin rather than Murphy, the census does not prove her relationship to her parents. Prior to the 1850 census, females’ names were not listed.

    Children of Daniel H. and Martha Kissah Tye Murphy were Louisa, Nancy, Allen F., Lucinda, Mary H., Sarah Ann, Hampton, John Tye, and Franklin.

    Pleasant and Mary had seven children: Lucinda E., Martha Jane, Charles Daniel, Sarah Ann, John Francis, William Logan/Brigance, and Pleasant W. (Jeff). I descended from Sarah Ann Austin Clenney.

    After Mary Murphy Austin’s death, Pleasant Woodward Austin married Mary Elizabeth Bredt. Their daughter, Elsby Viola Austin, was born in 1895. The two Marys are often confused on family trees in

    To add to the confusion, there was also a couple named Pleasant and Mary E. Austin in White County. Dr. Pleasant Woodward Austin did not live in White County. He and his family lived in Henderson and/or Decatur Counties.

    If someone could provide a legal document (deed, will, birth certificate, death certificate, etc.) or Bible to connect Mary to her Murphy family, I would be very grateful. I have the death certificate for Allen Murphy, and it lists both of his parents’ names. Two ladies joined DAR through John Tye Murphy. If I could prove that Mary was the sister of Allen or John Tye Murphy, their documents would be sufficient for DAR. Thank you.
    Katherine Williams, 4/11/2012

  2. In search of information on Daniel Murphy in my family tree, I came across a pension record for Daniel H. Murphy who served in the Revolutionary War in the North Carolina line. While this doesn’t help you prove Mary as a daughter, it is interesting that a Charles Austin, Justice of the Peace, is mentioned in some of the correspondence. This Daniel H. Murphy said he was born 23rd January 1763 in Anson County, North Carolina. He still lived in Anson County, North Carolina, when he made application for a pension (1832/33). Documentation is also included in the file asking to transfer his pension from Fayetteville, North Carolina, to Jackson in the Western Reserve of Tennessee (1837).

    1. I’m looking for information on Daniel Murphy who was from South Carolina. He was married to Hannah. They had a daughter, Juliana, who married Dill Cottingham, and is my 4x great grandmother. I need to know if this Danial Murphy served in the Revolutionary War. Thanks.
      Please reply here.

  3. Henderson County (TN) Justice of the Peace Charles Austin was the father of Pleasant Woodward Austin and father-in-law of Mary H. Murphy Austin. Charles’ wife, Phoebe Ellen Woodward Austin, was the daughter of American Revolutionary War Soldier Jordan Woodward. Please let me know if you find proof to connect Mary to her father, Daniel. Thank you.

  4. A friend found Martha Tye Murphy’s “inventory of estate” which listed Mary H. Austin as receiving a skillet, lid, and furniture. This legal document is what I needed to get my supplemental DAR application approved. Don’t give up when searching for your ancestors.

    1. There is still a lot of “undiscovered” information that is out there. Much of is unindexed so you have to dig it out the old fashioned way. Thanks for sharing your success.


      1. Jerry, would you like for me to talk with the Bishop of the LDS church for the area and ask if they can get a move on indexing? If so would you like to talk with him, too? Jo Aaron-Crosby

  5. Hello!

    I’m looking for information on the family of Stephen Lafayette Smith, he was also known as Fate Smith. He married Effie Ann Haynes in 1872. She was the daughter of William E. “Doc” Haynes and Mary Christene Nordin. Fate and Effie raised their children I believe near the Braidies Landing community. Their daughter, Cordelia “Delia” Smith married my great, great grandfather James Morris McIllwain in Decatur County in 1890.

    Fate had a younger sister named Eunice “Nicey” Smith Gibson. She was married to Claiborne “Clabe” Gibson. Clabe and Nicey also raised their family in Decatur County. Both Fate and Nicey are said to be buried in the old Haynes-Smith Cemetery near the property of a Mr. Jim Spence.

    Any information who the parents of Fate Smith and Nicey Smith Gibson are would be greatly appreciated!!

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